A Closer Look at the ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC Motherboard
At just 6 inches square, ASRock jams a lot into a small area. On the front side of the motherboard there are two DDR4 memory module slots and a single slot for a PCIe discreet graphics card. Just above the PCIe slot, is the Z170 PCH covered by the ASRock heatsink and a Brodcom Wireless AC adapted tucked into a mini-PCIe slot.
The backside of the motherboard is mostly barren except for the M.2 Slot. The M.2 slot is of the x4 variety and supports both x4 and x2 drives. The M.2 slot has the capability to deliver 32 Gb/s bandwidth to the drive.
The area round the CPU socket is fairly clutter free. However, since this is an ITX board and designed to go into smaller cases, don’t be surprised if a large CPU cooler interferes with the memory module slots. The PCH and the voltage regulation modules (VRM) is covered by heatsinks that are connected to one another via a heatpipe.
At the lower edge of the motherboard, a single x16 PCIe slot is provided for a discreet GPU. Between the wireless card and the memory module slots 4 SATA III ports are provided. On the right side of the motherboard the dual memory slots can support up to DDR4-4000. Just to the right of the memory module slots, two additional SATA III ports are provided as well as a single SATA Express port.
Even for a small board, the Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC provides a lot of rear I/O. ASRock has provided the following for I/O; PS/2 combo ports, 6 USB 3.0, 2 USB 3.1 (1 A-type connector, 1 C-type connector) dual HDMI, DisplayPort, Digital optical out for audio as well as standard 3.5mm plugs for speaker out, line and Mic in. There are also two ports for the wireless antenna. Take notice that there is no VGA or DVI connections on this board.